Both the City of Atlanta and State of Georgia have extended COVID-19 emergency orders through the end of the year.

Gov. Brian Kemp has extended his emergency order that imposes COVID-19 safety rules through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

The extension of the pandemic rules includes social distancing and various business restrictions. The order “strongly” suggests but does not require mask-wearing in public.

The order had been set to expire Dec. 15. Kemp ordered the extension of the order on Dec. 8, but unlike previous extensions, it was not announced through a press release.

Kemp had already ordered an extension of the pandemic state of emergency, which authorizes him to declare such restrictions and policy changes, to Jan. 8.

Language in the order that makes it easier to give COVID-19 vaccinations suggests Kemp will continue renewing the order at least for several months until vaccines become widely available.

To read the orders in full, see the Governor’s Office website.

Kemp also recently renewed through Jan. 11 a separate but related order authorizing the deployment of up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops in Atlanta with law enforcement powers, a response to a wave of gun violence and damage to a Georgia Department of Public Safety building during protests.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also extended several emergency orders related to the pandemic, most of which were scheduled to expire Dec. 31.

Orders blocking water service cut-off due to unpaid bills and prohibiting penalties for unpaid business taxes are extended through Jan. 31.

A moratorium on residential evictions or eviction-notice filings in publicly funded housing is extended through March 31.

A hazard-pay policy for certain “front-line” city employees, such as police officers and trash collectors, will renew Jan. 1 and continue month-to-month until a vaccine is available to them or the city returns to regular, in-person working.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.